RIP MJ: Michael Jackson Samples In Hip-Hop

Yesterday the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson would have turned 55. His legacy and influence on the music industry is undeniable and Jackson is one of the most sampled artists in hip-hop. Here’s a look at just a few tracks that have sampled the music of Michael and The Jackson 5.

Kanye West – Good Life

Quite a well known example, this track from Kanye’s Graduation won the Grammy for Best Rap Song back in 2008. It samples the outro to the upbeat P.Y.T from Michael Jackson’s Thriller and featured T-Pain before he became a ghost in the music industry.

Keep reading for more MJ samples.

Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.

A number one hit from the early 90s, this Naughty By Nature classic still bangs and the sample is pretty obvious, ABC by The Jackson 5.

Q-Tip – We Fight/Love (ft. Raphael Saadiq)

The next track comes from A Tribe Called Quest MC Q-Tip’s outstanding solo album The Renaissance and samples the classic This Place Hotel by The Jacksons from 1980. Heavy D used the same sample for his track Peaceful Journey and so did kid duo Quo in ’95 for Quo Funk. A remix was released featuring Kanye West and Consequence, which you can listen to below.

De La Soul – Breakadawn

Breakadawn, a highlight from De La‘s third album Buhloone Mindstate features Posdnous, Maseo and Trugoy going in over a sample of MJ’s Can’t Help It .

Nas – It Ain’t Hard To Tell

This joint was one of Nas‘ first singles, taken from arguably the greatest hip-hop album of all time Illmatic. Produced by Large Professor, the sample is Human Nature from ThrillerThe video below is Detroit MC eLZhi’s homage to the Nas classic from his independent tribute album eLmatic.

The list could continue, from obvious samples to the more obscure. If you want to have a look at all the ways Michael Jackson’s music has been sampled, check out WhoSampled where there are hundreds of other examples.

In other news, super producer Timbaland has announced plans to release an album featuring all-new Michael Jackson vocals. Working with LA Reid, a single titled Chicago is in the works. Here’s to hoping this project comes sooner than later.


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